Starquest by Hywela Lyn
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Review by Snapdragon
When Jestine Darnell is rescued from her sabotaged starship by the crew of the Destiny her only objective is to complete her mission and keep her promise to save a world from slavery. Love is the last thing on her mind. However, she has not counted on losing her heart to Kerry Marchant the ship’s second in command, who makes his distrust of her painfully obvious, despite the chemistry between them. The completion of her mission has consequences that neither of them could have foreseen.
Enter Dahll Tarron, who becomes involved in a long and dangerous quest to find the Destiny. Fates become intertwined, perils shared, culminating in the realization that sometimes love may be so close that there is a danger it will not be recognized until it is too late…
A love that will carry the heroine across the galaxy; a challenge that will threaten her life. Starquest by Hywela Lyn leaps into the deep end of galaxy right from the start, as the Jaii-onboard-computer announces a calamity that is but moments away. The navigational corrections are not enough, the starship’s drive is compromised; prepare to abandon ship…
Starquest kicks off with a literal bang, and you will feel your heart thumping at the race to abandon ship. The heroine, Jestine Darnell, is setting off on a desperate quest and does not quite know why. Her personal trajectory is impossible to predict, as she soon finds herself in the hands of telepaths – who are telepaths and more. Unsought friendships emerge, but can she trust them? And can that sort of reliance (no matter how good a navigator she is) come to matter among a large starship crew? It doesn’t help that she has to start off with a lie, then wonders if they can see through it.
The Destiny’s crew find her competent, but they have reservations. Kerry and Jon acknowledge her competence, and you will find yourself hoping against hope that they will give her the benefit of the doubt. It is a troubled time; from the Union’s stranglehold on Earth, to the dangerous Grakk spies lurking all over the universe. Even as we hope for her to be accepted, you will feel a thread of doubt yourself. In an amazing way, Lyn will make you identify – even if just a little bit – with almost every character.
Some emotions, like a somewhat shared sense of longing, are common among these people that cannot help but remember, a little sadly, the Earth home they left, long ago. What seems like a minor emotion – a loneliness or regret, becomes surprisingly evocative in this tale.
Ms. Lyn does a great job making surprise characters, like Jaii and other ships’ computers, seem ordinary. And, it’s refreshing that various characters share a sense of pride and enthusiasm in their ships’ capabilities.
Dialogue tends to be to the point and believable. Events become more and more unpredictable as the story moves forward. The backdrop is a universe – a beautifully envisioned universe. It seems rare to find a story with a science fiction bent so beautifully described. Read a little slice:
“… watching the rapidly unfolding vista of stars, like shimmering jewels in the black velvet backcloth that was deep space. There was something about the sheer immensity of the Universe that made her feel very insignificant and, at the same time, very tranquil.”
The lovely, lovely descriptions never slow the action, but manage still to convey emotion and carry the narration forward. This is an incredibly original tale, and – for all the science fiction trappings – is truly a classic quest for love, and the romance, which at first seems very much at the periphery, will become not only a primary motivation, but the chief joy of the tale. Adventure may be the main motif, but the heartwarming side will be a surprising bonus.